RV camping is an American tradition. Okay, maybe not RV camping, but the art of camping is an age-old tradition. But did you know you can power your RV with the sun?
What’s better than using the sunshine for power? It’s everywhere and it’s free.
One of the biggest misconceptions about solar power is that it’s limited to large panel systems on roofs. New nanotechnology will soon allow solar power systems to be applied with the same paint you use for your home. So, before that hits the market, what can you do?
Unlike homes, RVs run on direct current electricity. This makes them perfect for solar electricity since solar systems produce direct current electricity instead of alternating current. Put another way, there is no need for bulky converters to flip the electricity from direct to alternating. Instead, you can use the sun to power up your batteries directly.
Portable solar systems consist of pop-up solar modules with four or five panels. Essentially, they look like small ladders with solar panels instead of steps. You just pop them up on the roof of the RV or in an area where the sun hits them. The systems tie directly into your batteries and power them up during the day. Super easy and super clean.
The real advantage to solar RV systems has to do with noise. The traditional method for recharging your RV batteries is to turn on a generator and generators can be very loud. Even the quietest generator makes enough noise to make you feel like you live next to a construction site. Solar systems make no noise at all. There are no moving parts, just the sun beating down on the panels. You’ll never know they are even there.
If RVing is your thing, portable solar modules are worth taking a look at. With high fuel prices, you need to save a buck wherever you can.
Are you ready to buy an RV? If you are, you probably know there are different classes of recreational vehicles, each with their own merits and goodies. If you didn’t know that, we’re here to help. We’re going to talk about Class A and Class C motor homes. But we’ll make it fun, don’t worry.
CLASS A Motor Homes
The Look: These RV campers look like a bus (only way better). They have flat, large front windows and have a sleek design. Class A RVs are considered to be top-of-the-line, coming in at about 24 feet, but they can be as large as 40 feet. These bad boys are pretty heavy, ranging anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 pounds. That’s tons of fun (we didn’t say the jokes would be good).
The Amenities: Class A motor homes are what you would call fully-loaded. They come with all the luxury amenities you could ever want, from a full kitchen to a bathroom with a shower and a tub. Depending on the layout you could have everything from an open floor plan to a private master suite and a living area complete with a couch, recliner and entertainment system. They also include heating and AC, hot and cold running water, and 100-125 volt electrical systems. These homes can be as luxurious and elaborate as your price point will allow.
The Cost: New lower-end Class A RVs are sold around $50,000, while larger Class A RVs can cost up to $300,000. It’s possible to spend over $1 million if you really want all the bells and whistles. It’s a hefty cost, but one that will last you a long time and give you plenty of opportunities for fun and adventures in comfort.
CLASS C Motor Homes
The Look: These motor homes look more like a truck cab with an over-cab bed. In some ways, they resemble a camper. They are smaller than Class A motor homes, usually ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 pounds on average and come in anywhere from 20 to 44 feet in length. They are constructed on cutaway chassis depending on the models. AKA they are smaller, but still huge for a home on wheels.
The Amenities: Fret not, these still come with plenty of amenities for your glamping needs. There isn’t as much space, but a good Class C motor home knows how to make use of the available space so you have everything you need. Usually the couch turns into a sleeper couch or a dinette converts into a double bed so you’ll have plenty of space. Because of the over-cab bed, Class C motor homes can actually sleep more people than comparable Class A motor homes, even though they are a bit smaller.
The Cost: Prices for Class C motor homes can range anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000.
CLASS B Motor Homes
The Look: You might be wondering why Class B is down here. Well, these are usually referred to as a van conversion, looking more like pop-top camper vans. These are definitely more self-contained and cramped compared to their big motor home counter parts. Still, Class B motor homes make great places to sleep on the road. They can also be used as a second car!
The Amenities: If you’re looking for lots of comfort and amenities, the Class B motor home might not be for you. They usually have kitchens, living areas and bathrooms, but they are very small. The shower and toilet are often in one space called a wet-bath and the kitchen doesn’t feature much more than a cook top. Still, you’ll have everything you need for 2-4 people!
The Cost: Here’s the great part, these are much less expensive than options A and C. They are great for people who travel a lot but don’t need lots of space or tons of amenities. Class B motor homes usually range from $38,000 to $75,000.
Which motor home is your favorite? Why?